Elder Law Task Force

Elder Law Task Force content posted in order of most recent to oldest.

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International Day of Older Persons 2014: Expanding the Conversation on Domestic Violence

More on International Day of Older Persons from Kathy Greenlee, Assistant Secretary for Aging and Administrator of ACL

Today we join communities around the world in observing the International Day of Older Persons. October 1 was designated by the United Nations in 1990 to recognize the vital contributions of older people to the global community and to encourage member nations to thoughtfully address the aging of the population. At the Administration for Community Living, we are working to ensure that this includes the supports and services necessary for older people to live and contribute in their communities. 

It is also the first day of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the United States. Throughout the month, projects and events in communities around the nation will work to raise awareness of this often-unseen crime, support victims and survivors, mourn those who have been lost, and connect those working to end domestic violence.

This makes today an ideal time to talk about domestic violence later in life.

We often do not associate domestic violence with older people. To a degree, this assumption is accurate: data from the CDC indicate nearly half of those who are domestic violence victims first experience it between the ages of 18 and 24. But violence does not suddenly stop once a person reaches the age of 60. Older people are the frequent victims of a long list of abusive acts including sexual mistreatment, physical assault, neglect, emotional abuse, exploitation, and financial fraud. A recent UN study estimates that 28 percent of women over the age of 60 experience at least one form of violence and abuse. Unfortunately, domestic violence is underreported across all age groups because of the stigma associated with being a victim. 

In the U.S., two important pieces of legislation, the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act and the Violence Against Women Act, protect survivors of all ages through a national network of domestic violence programs and a coordinated community response to abuse. These laws have markedly improved our nation’s response to domestic violence, but can still do more to protect older people.

This is critical, because domestic violence can continue into old age and worsen over time. Further, violence against older people often results in greater injuries. An older person’s ability to escape violence can be hampered by health conditions, functional limitations, poverty and even greater social isolation. Older people may therefore need specialized support in order to access domestic violence services, such as shelters and hotlines.

The theme of this year’s International Day of Older Persons is Leaving No One Behind: Promoting a Society for All. In order to ensure that we do not leave older people behind, we must first expand our conversations about domestic violence to include the experiences of victims in later life. We must provide protection and support for survivors of domestic violence of all ages. And, as I have said before, we must lift up the voices of survivors and let them be our guides. Only by listening to their experiences will we educate ourselves and one another about the realities of domestic violence.

To help start the conversation, I encourage everyone to read and share Domestic Violence: Older Women Can Be Victims Too, a fact sheet from the National Center on Elder Abuse. Our collective acknowledgement of the impact of violence on older women is the first step to bringing about real change. 

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income: Vital Components of Our Waning Safety Net

Wed, 11/12/2014 - 8:00am - 5:00pm

Social Security, with its retirement, survivor and disability benefits, and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program are more critical than ever for the financial security of millions of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens.  Join experts from leading advocacy organizations for a special pre-conference designed for advocates who work in the areas of Social Security retirement and survivor benefits, Social Security disability benefits, and SSI.

Location Name: 
NLADA Pre-conference
Hyatt Regency Crystal City
2799 Jefferson Davis Highway
Kate Lang, NSCLC
National Legal Aid and Defender Association
NLADA 2014 Annual Social Security pre-conference agenda.pdf161.07 KB
NLADA 2014 Annual Conference Reg Form.pdf82.79 KB

Social Security benefits

We have some clients, both younger and older adults, who receive Social Security benefits in the middle of the month.  Many times this creates a problem with their rent being paid on time.  According to SSA.gov you can't change the date you receive your Soc. Sec benefits.  I know what the website states but has anyone been able to get a client's payment date for Social Security benefits changed and if so, how did you do it.

Elder Justice Roadmap Project Report Released

From the National Legal Resource Center:

Elder Justice Roadmap Project Report Released



Elder abuse—which includes physical, sexual, and psychological abuse, as well as neglect and financial exploitation in any setting--affects more than five million Americans each year. It’s a problem that causes untold pain for victims and those who care about them, and billions of dollars in costs borne by public programs, businesses, families and individuals.


To combat this growing problem, the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services sponsored an unprecedented effort to gather input from public and private entities, experts from across the United States, and hundreds of people who address elder abuse and have a role to play in detecting and preventing it. The culmination of this effort -- the Elder Justice Roadmap – is a detailed, practical guide for teams, communities, states and national entities to engage in strategic planning to create coordinated approaches to solving this serious problem.



The Roadmap highlights five top priorities critical to understanding and reducing elder abuse and to promoting health, independence, and justice for older adults:

1. Awareness: Increase public awareness of elder abuse, which requires a holistic, well-coordinated response in services, education, policy, and research.

2. Brain health: Conduct research and enhance focus on cognitive (in)capacity and mental health – critical factors both for victims and perpetrators.

3. Caregiving: Provide better support and training for the tens of millions of paid and unpaid caregivers who play a critical role in preventing elder abuse.

4. Economics: Quantify the costs of elder abuse, which is often entwined with financial incentives and comes with huge fiscal costs to victims, families and society.

5. Resources: Strategically invest more resources in services, education, policy development, research, and expanding knowledge to reduce elder abuse.

The Report offers more detailed action steps and to achieve these priorities targeted to direct services, education, policy, and research. The immense cost of elder abuse, in both human and economic terms, demands corresponding resources and attention. There is a role for everyone in combating this crisis.




DDA Low Intensity Support Services (LISS) Accepting Applications July 1-31, 2014

News from the
Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration

The Developmental Disabilities Administration, part of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, will begin accepting requests for its Low Intensity Support Services (LISS) program beginning July 1. LISS grants assist adults with developmental disabilities and families with a child with developmental disabilities in purchasing services and/or items to address needs.

Applications are being accepted from July 1 through July 31, 2014.

  • Instead of first-come, first-served, a random selection of applicants will be selected after the application period ends July 31.
  • A second round of applications will be solicited beginning January 1 through January 31, 2015.
  • Applications will be accepted in person, by mail or by email for the entire month of July and later during the month of January 2015.
  • Applications will now only be accepted by the provider in your region.
  • The cap was lowered from $3000 to $2000 to reach many more families.

For more information, including the application, information on providers and FAQs, visit DDA's LISS website. If you have any questions about the LISS program, email DDA at DDA.LISS@maryland.gov or contact one of the LISS providers.

The seven reasons you will fall for a scam artist

Excellent analysis, and way overdue.  Share this with your friends and families.  Post it wherever you can post it.

One excerpt just to hook you into reading this:

... before I tell you what’s wrong with the tired old saw, “If it seems too good to be true, it is,” let me get this out of the way: I hate people who blame the victim. Yes, consumers can be dumb, foolish, and even greedy. None of these things should ever be construed as permission to steal from them. These are the kinds of excuses you hear from criminals and corporations all the time, and I hate them.  It’s always clear who the bad guy is: The guy who walks away with the money.  The test is easy: Any time you take someone’s money and that person is confused about why, you are wrong. Give the money back.


9th Annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day June 15, 2014

June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

There are activities across the state and many local Legal Aid offices are participating – check out the list below to see what’s happening in your area.  I encourage you to share elder abuse awareness materials with your clients, their family members and friends, partner organizations, and your colleagues.  The Legal Aid Elder Abuse Awareness Flyer is designed to be printed on our red and yellow flyer stationery, but can stand alone as well.  You can also share the Maryland Department of Aging Fact Sheet on Elder Abuse

Elder Abuse Awareness Activities Across the State

June 9-11, 2014 – Frederick County – The Silver Ribbon Series

June 11, 2014 – Montgomery County – Elder Justice Rally

June 11, 2014 – Washington County – Elder Abuse Awareness Seminar

June 13, 2014 – Baltimore City – Virtual Dementia Tour

June 13, 2014 – Baltimore County – World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Forum

June 13, 2014 – Prince George’s County – World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

June 17, 2014 – Howard County – 2014 Elder Abuse Awareness Conference: Protecting Vulnerable Adults

Everyone can make a difference, so take a stand against elder abuse!


Thanks, and apologies for cross-posting!


May is Older Americans Month


The theme for Older Americans Month in May is Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow., with a focus on injury and falls prevention. According to the Administration for Community Living (ACL), among older adults, unintentional injuries "result in at least 6 million medically treated injuries and more than 30,000 deaths every year" (ACL 2014). Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults (National Council on Aging 2014). To get involved, check out the National Council on Aging's resources for older adults and professionals to share throughout the month.


Click here for more information.

National Council Launches Mental Health First Aid for Veterans


From DHMH:

The National Council for Behavioral Health, leaders from veterans service organizations and mental health advocates recently launched Mental Health First Aid for Veterans. The training program provides participants with information and techniques to recognize and respond to the warning signs of mental illness and addiction. Approximately 30% of active-duty and reserve military personnel who deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan have mental health conditions requiring treatment (National Council 2013). The program hopes to offer an innovative source of care for populations with the greatest need.


Click here for more information.

Baltimore Neighborhoods 55th Anniversary Celebration

Wed, 05/21/2014 - 5:30pm - 9:00pm
Location Name: 
Radisson Cross Keys
5100 Falls Road
Robert Strupp
Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc

MVLS Celebrate Pro Bono - Save the Date

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm

On Wednesday, October 15th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service will Celebrate Pro Bono by honoring volunteers, student interns, law firms and supporters at our annual recognition reception at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law’s Westminster Hall in Baltimore.

This annual event, held in partnership with the UMD Carey School of Law’s Leadership in Public Service and Maryland Public Interest Law Project, honors those who have made noteworthy contributions to the delivery of pro bono legal services over the past year.  Guests will enjoy a catered buffet while networking with peers and listening to remarks from a yet-to-be announced keynote speaker.

The reception also kicks off Maryland’s participation in the American Bar Association’s national Celebrate Pro Bono Week (October 19-25).  Celebrate Pro Bono is free for attendees but advanced registration is required.  Register online.  Please contact Stephanie Austin at saustin@mvlslaw.org or 443 451-4065 with any questions.

Location Name: 
UMD Carey School of Law - Westminster Hall
Stephanie Austin, MVLS Direct of Development
Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service

Preventing Crimes against Seniors Virtual Conference

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 9:00am - 4:30pm

Here is the link to register if it did not go through before.

The National Crime Prevention Council and the Bureau of Justice Assistance are sponsoring a virtual conference with information to help law enforcement, crime prevention organizations, victim service providers, and others recognize and respond to elder abuse and fraud against seniors. April 10, 2014 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Click here to learn more and register.

Elder abuse is an often unrecognized and underreported crime with devastating consequences. That’s why the National Crime Prevention Council and the Bureau of Justice Assistance joined forces to offer this comprehensive one-day, live event to help combat elder abuse. What you’ll learn:

•Get insight into the signs and symptoms of abuse and the roles and resources of agencies involved in elder abuse prevention.

•Learn strategies and multi-disciplinary models of response to help tackle elder abuse in your community.

•Discover tools to build community awareness surrounding elder abuse.

•Identify elder financial crime trends and how to avoid victimization.

•Learn about partnerships and resources for crime victims and how to prevent crime in the first place! Who should attend: Law enforcement, crime prevention leaders, community-based organizations, seniors, and anyone in the general public interested in protecting seniors

The National Crime Prevention Council and the Bureau of Justice Assistance

Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc-BNI 55th Anniversary Celebration and Annual Meeting

Wed, 05/21/2014 (All day)

Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc., is celebrating! We are 55! SAVE THE DATE! May 21st. More information below and details to come! http://www.bni-maryland.org/Documents/05-21-14SavetheDateFlyer.pdf

Location Name: 
Radisson Cross Keys
5100 Falls Rd
Robert Strupp
Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc

Enroll in Health Coverage at HealthConnectNow on March 1 at the B'More Healthy Expo

Please pass along this information froim Health Care Access Maryland to clients, friends and family:

Come to the HealthConnectNow! Enrollment Event from 10 am – 5 pm on March 1st at the B’More Healthy Expo at the Baltimore Convention Center. HCAM’s Certified Navigators will be on hand to answer your questions and help you enroll. Visit us on Level 300!

Click here for the event flyer.


HealthConnectNow! Enrollment events will be scheduled across the state throughout March - check out the event list at www.marylandhealthconnection.gov for more dates and locations. Remember, open enrollment for Maryland Health Connection ends March 31!

(Sorry for the duplicate postings).

New Consumer Facts Sheets Regarding Financial Exploitation

From the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care:

New Consumer Facts Sheets Available!

How to Prevent, Detect and Report Financial Exploitation in Long-Term Care Facilities

Developed in part through a grant from the Administration on Aging for the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), these new consumer fact sheets discuss the prevention, detection and reporting of financial exploitation in assisted living and nursing homes. There are separate fact sheets for residents in assisted living and nursing homes and their family members.

The consumer fact sheets provide an overview of residents’ rights and facility responsibilities related to resident finances, tips for protecting themselves and how to report incidents of financial abuse. The fact sheets for family and friends of residents also review residents’ rights and facility responsibilities, highlight warning signs and how to report incidents of financial exploitation.

Share these fact sheets with residents, family members, long-term care facility staff and others interested in preventing and responding to financial exploitation.

Assisted Living Facilities
Consumer Fact Sheet: How to Prevent, Detect and Report Financial Exploitation in Assisted Living Facilities
Protecting Your Loved One: How to Prevent, Detect and Report Financial Exploitation in Assisted Living Facilities

Nursing Homes
Consumer Fact Sheet: How to Prevent, Detect and Report Financial Exploitation in Nursing Homes
Protecting Your Loved One: How to Prevent, Detect and Report Financial Exploitation in Nursing Homes

For more information regarding financial exploitation in long-term care facilities, visit the Consumer Voice website and the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center (NORC) website.

Save the Date: National Aging and Law Conference, Oct. 16-17, 2014

The 2014 National Aging and Law Conference will be sponsored by the American Bar Association's Commission on Law and Aging. It replaces the conference that was previously sponsored by the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. NALC 2014 will be held at the Brickfield Center in the AARP headquarters building in Washington, DC.

The conference will have a track specifically for legal services advocates and an agenda that will minimize the impact of travel costs. A Call for Speaker Proposals can be found on the conference's Facebook account.

Submission deadline: March 15, 2014.

Submit proposals by email to David.Godfrey@Americanbar.org


Extension of interpreters for court-ordered services

The Judiciary recently issued a policy to expand interpretation services to court-ordered services and programs, including:

-- Mediation

-- Court evaluations

-- Court-appointed attorneys

-- Self-Help Centers

and many more.

The attached list is intended to be inclusive. Please contact the Administrative Office of the Courts Program Services Unit at (410) 260-1291 for more information about coverage of particular services.

Feel free to bring to the attention of the Language Access Task Force if you think an interpreter should be appointed for a particular service, but a court refuses to assign one.

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